After more than 10 years of discussion, Linthicum at last has a sign welcoming visitors to the community.
Members of the Linthicum/Shipley Improvement Association and the Linthicum Woman's Club recently erected the blue wooden sign at the intersection of Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard and Maple Road.
A second sign soon will be placed at the entrance to the community at the Camp Meade and West Maple roads intersection. That sign is being built by Donald Wright as an Eagle Scout project.
In both cases, erecting the signs proved more challenging than anyone expected.
"For as long as I could remember we've talked about having a sign," said Marjorie Smith, a member of the community association and the Woman's Club, who coordinated the effort. "Various little communities have their own identifying signs. In new developments, the first thing that happens is a sign goes up."
The effort to put up the Linthicum sign began in earnest about 18 months ago when the two associations appropriated money for the project. The organizations considered designs from five companies before finally settling on a wooden sandblasted sign with a blue background, a red frame and gold letters saying, "Welcome to Linthicum, established 1659."
The community traces its founding to the award of a land grant by the Calverts.
Selecting a design was difficult, but not as tedious as the maze of bureaucracy the groups had to negotiate before they could put up the sign. Mrs. Smith said they waited more than a year for approval from the State Highway Administration. They also had to receive approvals from the various utility companies.
"It's been very frustrating," Mrs. Smith said.
During the year, she even wrote a little poem, which ends with the words, "Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." Mrs. Smith said when she became discouraged, she reread the poem and continued to work.
Although Mrs. Smith coordinated the effort, she was helped by Bill Mueller and Jim Gallion, members of the improvement association, who erected the brick columns supporting the signs. Ann Yaikaitis, immediate past president of the Woman's Club, donated the 400 bricks used in the columns.
Work on the sign is to be completed next week when flowers and shrubbery are planted.
Mr. Wright, an 18-year-old senior at North County High School, also confronted more trouble than he expected in erecting the sign for his Scout project. He began the project in December and raised $800 from community leaders and businesses. The Scout project was supposed to be finished before his 18th birthday on July 2. But the marble didn't arrive in time, and he had to ask for an extension.
The sign is supposed to be finished next week, just barely making the new deadline, he said.